weird things with mesa amps

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let me prface this by saying I DONT LIKE MESA AMPS, the design is garbage, the factory customer service is trash, you cannot talk to a tech if your life depended on it and thier amps breakdown more than chinese made Fender RI amps , there are a few other issues I wont get into here needless to say " WE ARE NOT AMUSED" .

Last friday I was given a new Mesa mark 5:35 to look at not to go into but to determine if it was a tube issue for the intermittent loud static noise it was making when it heated up ,
A) Saturday I put the amp on standby at 02:10 at 02:45 Amp in play no issues, this was in the 10 watt mode channel #1 , until 07:15 ran perfect!
B) Sunday 02:30 AM in standby mode , 03:15 amp in play mode 25watt 05:45AM shut down to let the tubes cool, no issues found , a few inocculous crackles nothing serious disipated and resumed normal.
C) Sunday 07:30 PM 35 watt Mode 10:00 PM put into play mode, played untill 12:53 AM Monday no issues

I put the amp through this because the customer claimed issues arose when the amp was hot, contacted L&M and advised of the issue and my findings .

customer asked me to test further , the amp had a loud hum but that was it, I removed the 4 6BQ5's (EL84) cleaned the pins and reinstalled, I pulled the 6 12AX7's cleaned the pins reinserted .Cleaned the jacks with Deoxit on a Qtip Hum still exsisted , I pulled V4 and replaced it with spare EL84 ( oldstock ) the hum is gone, I noticed V4 had a crackin it , so i returned it to the store for them to order a set of Mesa tubes and left my old stock EL 83 in the amp so the customer can gig with the amp tomorrow . Customer gets the amp back I drive home , customer calls L&M , he turned it on it sounded great and it went sideways again after about 60 seconds this time he smells smoke....HMMMM ,
this amp has 1X 8 ohm out and 2X4 OHM outs,
I wonder if he plugged the 4 ohm out into a 16 ohm cab and fried it. ( speculatory on my part here)

as I do out of warrentee repairs I was asked to not enter the amp as it may have to go back to mesa for servicing ,
resolve : a new Mesa Mark5:35 has been ordered for the customer

I did say I dont Like mesas, didnt I?

rant over, you may resume what were doing previously!
 
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Wally

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I have always been able to talk to a tech at Mesa, and they have always been helpful. This is my experience for over 20 years.
I understand putting an amp through the same ‘rigors’ as a user. However, it is unecessary and hard on tubes to leave them in standby for long periods of time. This causes a gradual deterioration cathodes due to cathode poisoning. I never leave an amp in standby for longer than it takes to change a speaker connection or a tube.…usually less than a m8nute. Continued longmperiods of stand by is not a good thing. It also does not heat up the tubes past a certain stage. Tubes get hot when they are processing signal.
There are certain amps which I do not care to work on. So far, Mesas are not in that category. I recently rebuilt a Studio 22 Caliber that came to me with a PCB that was loose in the chassis due to all,of the supports being broken. Most of the connections had been broken at the board. With the help of Mike Bendenelli at Mesa, I got it all back together and functiowning. Mike B and Richard Duvall have always been forthcoming With assistance, ime. I will note that it appears that the repair department may have undergone a restructuring since the Gibson takeover. All tech questions are to be routed to a specialist in that certain amp, and one cannot expect to be immediately transferred on the phone to that person. One has to wait for a call back.
And…..if a player does not know how to run a Mesa amp, they hAve the best manuals in the business, imho. Every Mesa owner should read the manual For their amp.
 

Killing Floor

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I only used Mesa on tour a few times but never had a single issue. Since then I had a rebuild of an older head and the tech walked me through every step and kept in contact until I got it back. Then called to make sure I was happy. One of their tenured designers is active on another forum and responds directly any time a player has a question or tech issue with Mesa.
In the entire musical equipment industry, globally, with the possible exception of Yamaha there is not another brand more fully invested in long term customer support. Mesa has the best aftermarket and post warranty service in the music gear business. I can’t even think of anyone close.
Sorry you had a bad experience.
 

cyclopean

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I’ve never owned a mesa, but one of my old roommates had one of the mark series heads, and it’s about the only amp that seems like it could, without pedals, do a credible surf/early sun records sound or play thrash, and i haven’t played a lot of amps that can do both.
 

24 track

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I have always been able to talk to a tech at Mesa, and they have always been helpful. This is my experience for over 20 years.
I understand putting an amp through the same ‘rigors’ as a user. However, it is unecessary and hard on tubes to leave them in standby for long periods of time. This causes a gradual deterioration cathodes due to cathode poisoning. I never leave an amp in standby for longer than it takes to change a speaker connection or a tube.…usually less than a m8nute. Continued longmperiods of stand by is not a good thing. It also does not heat up the tubes past a certain stage. Tubes get hot when they are processing signal.
There are certain amps which I do not care to work on. So far, Mesas are not in that category. I recently rebuilt a Studio 22 Caliber that came to me with a PCB that was loose in the chassis due to all,of the supports being broken. Most of the connections had been broken at the board. With the help of Mike Bendenelli at Mesa, I got it all back together and functiowning. Mike B and Richard Duvall have always been forthcoming With assistance, ime. I will note that it appears that the repair department may have undergone a restructuring since the Gibson takeover. All tech questions are to be routed to a specialist in that certain amp, and one cannot expect to be immediately transferred on the phone to that person. One has to wait for a call back.
And…..if a player does not know how to run a Mesa amp, they hAve the best manuals in the business, imho. Every Mesa owner should read the manual For their amp.
I whole hartedly agree with you on the stanby issues but this was a special case, I needed to bring this amp up to warm and check out for the customers complaint , none found , I let the amp cool down completely before switching wattage and trying again , through all modes of the amp , I do believe the issue reported was caused by a miss-use of this amp , I tested the amp for a few hours before I took it back to the customer , and after I replaced V4 , the amp was dead quiet ,
My frustration with mesa is because when i do call, I was told:
A) they want to do the repairs there
B) they are so back logged that I could not talk to a tech, and not to bother sending the amp to them because of this. I had to send a short email that may get to him or not.
C) I found them to be turse, and unresponsive ,

in particular I have a 4 channel roadster , 50watt/100watt in 50 watt mode channels 1-4 work great ,in 100 watt mode ,channels 1&3 are fine , channels 2&4 are non fuctional , I suspect the Jfets for switching these relays may be pooched , 27 relays in this puppy and nothing clearly marked let alone hich Jfets are assigned to this function . there again no help .
maybe he does not like Canadians , I dont know
L&M are setting up a training course to handle warrentee repairs for mesa , I may go I may not. we will see as I am not impressed by them at all , but thats just me . but then again I mey be pleasently surprized on a positive note .
Mesa wont warrentee a repair if the amp doesnot have a full set of mesa tubes in it and right now we cant get any ( sign of the times ,LOL)

I too have worked with Yamaha and they were outstanding
 

Zoso420

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I love my mk V but I hate how complicated it is. I use 3 out of 9 of the different pre amp stages and every once in a while I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about all the relays in that thing.
 

Guitarteach

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Quite the opposite of my experience. Heavily gigged mesa gear for years and used one for London theatre work where you need reliable gear. No issues that needed an engineer. My main studio amp is still an old Mark III that can make any tone I want. massively versatile and huge cleans to die for.

I do wonder how many do not read the (great) manuals or are just too lazy to learn to understand the interactive, cascading gain nature of the older amps before weighing in against them as ‘complicated’. A marshall JVM is little different today as a MK V.

Re. Support. I got feedback on fully recapping mine immediately inc. contacts of suppliers for the parts and when I queried how to increase the reverb depth, they sent notes for me to follow on that as well as bunch of other suggested mods from Mike B himself.

They seemed really responsive and keen to help.

By comparison, I had zero response at all to questions to Boss/Roland about the broken screen on my boss GT unit.
 

Lynxtrap

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OK, so if I understand the rant correctly: Possibly bad tubes, user possibly using the wrong speaker load, tech not authorized to do warranty work?
I'm no fan of Boogies either, but... 🤔
 




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